Can you believe I was 24 years old before I ever tried asparagus?  I know, me either.  I don’t think it was on the most popular vegetable list at the grocery store in my hometown.  Because believe me, we ate lots of veggies at my house  growing up.  Asparagus just didn’t happen to be one of them.

I was visiting a friend and her new husband in Minneapolis when she made it as part of our dinner.  It was simply steamed with a bit of salt and pepper.  Delicious.  I couldn’t get over how I had missed out on such a tasty veggie. I’ve been finding all kinds of ways to make it ever since.

This is one of my favorite asparagus recipes.  It is the perfect side dish for spring when both asparagus and peas are in season.  Snap peas can also be used, if you can find them, otherwise frozen peas work just as well.

Asparagus and Peas

by Ina Garten

1 bunch asparagus

1 cup frozen peas or 3/4 pound sugar snap peas

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes

Sea salt, optional

Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and slice the stalks diagonally into 2 inch pieces. If using snap peas snap off the ends and pull the string down the length of the vegetable.

Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the asparagus and peas.  Add the salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes to taste.  Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until al dente, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired and serve hot.

What are your favorite spring fruits or vegetables?  Have you tried anything new lately?



2 Responses to Asparagus and Peas

  1. I feel like spring only started last week on our farmers’ market … when my husband brought home rhubarb! I discovered a delicious cake recipe last year (in a cookbook I’ve had since I was a teenager) and that’s what we prepared. Oh, spring, I am craving your strawberries and fresh veggies … soon, I hope, soon.

    On another note: what’s the third little heap on your plates up there? I recognize the rice, but I’m unsure about the other something. Potatoes?

  2. Alison says:

    Johanna–I am anxiously awaiting our farmer’s market too. Only a couple weeks until opening weekend and I am so ready! I just brought some rhubarb home yesterday, going to make a rhubarb strawberry crumble. Sounds like spring to me! On the plate…it’s the asparagus & peas, wild rice and pan seared portobello mushrooms with thyme.

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